Six years ago when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed his first budget he suggested eliminating the $500 property tax credit on middle income earners, after 17 town halls he partially restored it.
This year, Malloy is looking again to middle income earners to help with the state’s budget deficit by asking them to give up their $200 property tax credit. The credit costs the state about $105 million a year and is distributed to 874,000 residents, at least 66 percent have incomes of less than $75,000 a year.
“More sacrifice is going to be required of many,” Malloy said Friday during an unrelated press conference.
He said he’s not looking to increase the sales or income tax, but the property tax credit “has to be on the table as other tax credits do.”
Bipartisan opposition though was swift.
“Even in difficult budget times, preserving the property tax credit for middle class families is important,” Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said. “Eliminating the property tax credit will hurt middle class families by weakening the progressivity of our tax system. It’s a popular credit with homeowners, one which Democrats in the General Assembly fought to establish.”
Senate Republican President Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said he considers that a “tax hike on middle and working class families.”
He said the Democrats slashed the credit two years ago and to propose completely eliminating it would be a move in the wrong direction.
“We should be looking for ways to boost this credit to working and middle class families, not further reduce it,” Fasano added.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, agreed.
She called the proposal “wrongheaded.”
“We have been down this road before, eliminating the property tax credit or partially restoring it when the state looks to balance its books.This is the only real relief homeowners enjoy and now, once again, the governor wants to get rid of the only break the state ever gives them,” Klarides said.
The property tax credit has been increased and decreased over the years since it was first implemented in 1995.
The governor will unveil his full two-year budget proposal on Feb. 8.